The 15 Weird Ways to Health 2006-07-22Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Health.
We all know how important it is to take regular exercise, cut down on our fat intake and eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. But is there anything more we could do to improve our health?
- ONE: Brush your teeth before breakfast… says Mr.Philip Stemmer, dental surgeon with the ‘Teeth for Life Centre‘, London.
Always brush your teeth before breakfast. As we sleep, bacteria and plaque form on our teeth. The bacteria are then multiplied by the sugar and acid in our breakfast food, which increases the risk of tooth decay.
Brushing before you eat removes this bacteria. The fluoride in the toothpaste also coats the teeth, thereby protecting them against acid and sugar.
- If you do brush after eating, wait at least half an hour because the food acids and sugars temporarily weaken the protective enamel on the teeth. If you clean your teeth too soon, you are actually brushing away at this enamel before it hardens again.
- The best routine is to brush your teeth before a meal, and then freshen up and remove excess food after eating using an alcohol-free mouthwash.
TWO: Drink cranberry juice twice a day …says Mr.Stuart L. Stanton, professor of urogynaecology at ‘The Portland Hospital‘, London.
Men should drink 500 ml of cranberry juice every day as it contains compounds called proantho-cyanadins which stop harmful micro-organisms sticking to the bladder and causing infections. It also prevents ‘atherosclerosis’ in the arteries, lowering the risk of heart attacks; and it is high in anti-oxidants, helping to protect against cancer.
- Drink the cranberry juice in two 250 ml hits. Its effects last for only about ten hours; by taking two doses you prolong protection.
THREE: Turn down the power of your hairdryer… says Ms.Angela King, senior audiologist at ‘The Royal National Institute for Deaf People‘.
Reduce the power of your hairdryer: the noise of using it everyday on the most powerful setting might affect your hearing in the long-run. Also, turn down the volume of your personal music player or mobile phone to protect your hearing.
Generally, if you can’t hear external sounds when you’ve got your headphones on then the volume is too loud.
Eat more green fruit and vegetables to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light. Your retina contains compounds called carotenoids which work like a sunblock in your eyes. Boost your intake of them by eating kale, broccoli, green beans, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, kiwi and honeydew melons.
For further protection, wear sunglasses that shield against UVA and UVB rays.
FIVE: Sit down without using your hands… says Ms.Claire Small, physiotherapist for ‘The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy‘.
Strengthen your abdominal muscles — and protect yourself against back and shoulder pain — by standing up and sitting down without using your hands to get off a seat.
Do this when you are going to the toilet, as well as at your desk or on the sofa. If you have an adjustable office chair, set it at the lowest height, before trying this exercise ten times.
SIX: Buy unusual fruit and vegetables… says Mr.Kevin Whelan, dietician and lecturer in nutritional sciences at ‘King’s College‘, London.
Buy fruit and vegetables you don’t normally eat. We all know the slogan ‘five a day’, but many people don’t realise this refers to five different varieties as well as five servings.
By eating a cross section of fruit and vegetables, you will be consuming a broad range of micronutrients. Have one dark-green vegetable, such as spinach, and one orange or red fruit, such as grapefruit, every day.
- The iron from the vegetable will almost quadruple the body’s absorption of vitamin-C in the fruit.
SEVEN: Buy a medium-soft mattress… says Mr.Matt Todman, consultant physiotherapist at ‘The Sports & Spinal Clinic‘, Harley Street.
Choose a medium-soft mattress. Beds that are too hard or too soft are bad for your back.
Medium-soft mattresses put less pressure on the shoulders and hips, allowing you to sleep more naturally.
EIGHT: Do high-intensity exercise… says Mr.Dax Moy, personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist.
Do four minutes of Tabata exercise a day. The Tabata programme was developed by physiologists at ‘The National Institute of Fitness and Sport’ in Tokyo to boost overall fitness quickly.
It consists of 20 seconds of maximum intensity exercise, followed by ten seconds of rest. This cycle should be repeated eight times in succession for a total of four minutes a day.
You can choose from a range of exercises including hitting a heavy bag, sprinting, skipping, indoor cycling and fast-paced squat-thrusts, but you must put all your effort into them.
NINE: Take your trainers out of the car… says Mr.Mike O’Neil, a podiatric surgeon based at ‘BMI Princess Margaret Hospital‘, Windsor.
Don’t leave your training shoes in the car: the heat of the car and the damp, sweaty soles create a perfect environment for fungal infections such as athlete’s foot to flourish.
Buy shoes at the end of the day, when your feet are largest. Feet swell up throughout the day due to heat and activity. Badly-fitting shoes can lead to corns and blisters.
TEN: Never share your razor… says professor Mr.William Rosenberg, a liver specialist based at ‘The University of Southampton‘.
Never share your toothbrush or razor, as Hepatitis-C, a virus that leads to liver damage, is passed this way. One in a hundred people carries the virus.
ELEVEN: Avoid headaches by sticking to a routine… says Mr.Andrew Dowson MD, director of headache services at ‘King’s College Hospital’, London.
Stick to a routine if you want to avoid headaches. Migraine used to be known as weekend headaches, as sufferers most often got them on Saturdays and Sundays.
This is because the hypothalamus in the brain, which governs the central nervous system and many other functions in the body, is very sensitive to changes in routine.
So when we sleep in late, stop or start exercising or eat irregularly — as is common at the weekend — this can disrupt the function of the hypothalamus, triggering headaches and migraine.
- Try to eat every three hours and sleep for roughly the same amount of time every night. Exercising for around half an hour three times a week is excellent for general health.
TWELVE: Test your H-factor… says nutritionist Mr.Patrick Holford.
Check your homocysteine levels — ask your GP about having a test. High levels of homocysteine, a substance found in blood, is a stronger indicator of heart disease risk than cholesterol, and reducing it could cut your risk by up to 75 per cent.
You can lower your ‘H-factor’ by eating foods containing folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, magnesium and zinc, such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, green leafy vegetables and unsalted nuts and seeds.
You can also test levels by using York Test’s Homocysteine Test (75.00 GBP). Call 0800 074 6185 or visit www.yorktest.com.
THIRTEEN: Make a note of what you eat… says Ms.Judy O’Sullivan, cardiac nurse at ‘The British Heart Foundation‘.
Write down what you have eaten every day for lunch then stick these notes around the edges of your computer screen at work or on the fridge at home.
At the end of the week look at your notes and, the following week, try to replace any unhealthy lunches — fatty, salty or convenience foods — with more heart-friendly options such salads, fruit and lower-fat options.
When all the notes are filled with fresh, low-fat lunches, you’ll be doing your heart a great favour.
FOURTEEN: Eat dried figs… says Ms.Susan Lanham-New MD of ‘The National Osteoporosis Society‘.
Eat five dried figs a day. This will provide a third of your calcium needs as an adult.
Add that to a couple of glasses of tap water, particularly in hard water areas, and 100g of watercress for the best bone protection.
FIFTEEN: Sleep on your back… says Mr.Alex Karidis, plastic surgeon based at ‘St John & St Elizabeth Hospital‘ in London.
This will help prevent wrinkles. If you sleep on your side or face down, pressure on the face literally causes the skin to wrinkle.
This is particularly true of the nasal-labial fold, which is the line that runs from the nose to the mouth. Laughter lines can also form from sleeping this way as the skin around the eyes is particularly thin.
Whenever you wake up during the night and find yourself on your side or front, switch to sleeping on your back again.
- ‘Stay healthy in 15 unlikely steps‘ –Article by Angela Epstein & Peta Bee in The Daily Mail, 2006-07-18.
Previously on this blog:
- 2006-06-03 Free breakfast trial for pupils
- 2006-07-14 Poverty Linked to Early Death
- 2006-07-03 Pomegranite vs prostate cancer
- 2006-07-03 decaf and diabetes
- 2006-06-22 coffee good for the liver
- 2006-06-20 Lemonade Dissolves Kidney Stones
- 2006-04-21 Early Births And Life Problems
- 2006-04-16 Vasectomy Problems
- 2006-03-30 iPods May DamageHearing
- 2006-03-29 economy needs healthy people
- 2006-03-22 hospital superbug deaths rise
- 2006-03-20 Anti-aging Science
- 2006-03-15 childhood antibiotic use linked to adult asthma
- 2006-03-14 drug ‘unfurs’ arteries
- 2006-02-28 Stress leads to dementia
- 2006-02-15 unrecognised heart attacks
- 2006-02-14 medical mix-ups review needed
- 2006-02-09 vegetables may fix DNA stop cancer
- 2005-03-23 The new rebellious shoppers
- 2005-02-22 exotic fruit and veg
- 2004-12-17 The Polymeal
- 2004-09-02 People are bigger now
- 2004-05-19 fast/food plan from God
- 2004-01-29 grapefruit before every meal is slimming
- 2004-01-21 supplements to beat ‘Alzheimer’s’
- 2004-01-06 coffee to beat diabetes
- 2003-12-19 fizzy makes you fat-still water is slimming
- 2003-10-15 coffee perks up sperm